By Mike

The amount of water you use to boil pasta disgusts me

Harold McGee (think “Alton Brown before there was Alton Brown”) writes what would seem a blasphemous article about cooking pasta using less water, a change which he estimates would result in “saving 250,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil.” I’ve chided relations on occassion for not using enough cooking water for pasta, without ever really knowing why (other than I tend to be a somewhat bossy and annoying backseat cook). But I have always wondered what would happen if you used less water or started with cold.  That’s the difference between me and these other guys: I just wondered. McGee actually tried…

Vigorous, versatile, zestful

Alfred Bester: Deliver science fiction from any necessity to have purpose and value. Science fiction is far above the utilitarian yardsticks of the technical minds, the agency minds, the teaching minds. Science fiction is not for Squares. It’s for the modern Renaissance Man…vigorous, versatile, zestful…full of romantic curiosity and impractical speculation. (Via)

Keys to the Kingdom

My Kindle arrived yesterday. First impressions were not quite up to the technolust I feel when opening a box “Designed by Apple in California,” but pretty darned good. Amazon has done a nice job with the packaging and merchandising here. I particularly appreciate that the Kindle arrives already linked to my Amazon account. It literally works right out of the box. This also makes it painfully easy to immediately start buying content. After all, I want to read more than just the user’s guide on this thing! I can tell I’m really going to like the ability to download free…

Cooking: humanity’s ‘killer app'”?

As reported in The Economist, Harvard’s Richard Wrangham has a theory that “cooking and other forms of preparing food are humanity’s ‘killer app’”: Cooking is a human universal. No society is without it. No one other than a few faddists tries to survive on raw food alone. And the consumption of a cooked meal in the evening, usually in the company of family and friends, is normal in every known society. Moreover, without cooking, the human brain (which consumes 20-25% of the body’s energy) could not keep running. Dr Wrangham thus believes that cooking and humanity are coeval. In fact,…

Batch-adding ISBNs in Delicious Library

If you are ever looking to get a whole mess of ISBNs into Delicious Library (say, for example, from a different book database), and have DL2 freshly slurp all the books’ info from the web, you should use this Applescript. It saved me Lotsa Work™. (I tend to prefer Bruji Software’s Bookpedia over Delicious Library from a straight-up features standpoint, but I do use both)


When you consider that a fairly hefty slice of the success of my company still depends on the health of print media, it’s a little alarming to note that I’m actually surprised by just how many print magazines we still receive here in the Morrow household. Magazines have been an easy place to cut spending iver the past year, but we still get a bunch. Do we read them? Do you read all your magazines? Us neither. Here’s a rundown of mags you’ll find around here: Currently Receive ReadyMade Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field Utne…

There’s a Kindle a-coming

I ordered one of them fancypants ee-lectronic book readers from The Amazon, and if their delivery status is correct it will arrive two short weeks. Last May, I wrote the following about my desire (and hesitations) about the Kindle: As someone who always has at least two books on his person at almost all times and who agonizes about which books to bring along on a trip, I really like the idea of a smallish device with an entire library on-board, ready for any reading whim that may strike. I love the idea of decreasing the amount of physical clutter…

Fine and Spooky Things

Sometimes it’s the simple things. Today it’s listening to Neil Gaiman reading The Graveyard Book on a lovely pre-Spring lunch hour.